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June 5, 2001
Diversity Advocate holds first meeting with advisory groups
  
The City's Diversity Advocate, Councillor Sherene Shaw, held the first joint
meeting of the five Council-appointed community advisory committees on access,
equity and human rights last night. More than 50 committee members gathered in
City Hall's council chamber, offering their input to help set priorities for
the City's action plan promoting social justice and equity for all Toronto
residents.

"The City of Toronto's corporate motto is Diversity our Strength," said
Councillor Shaw, the City's first-ever Diversity Advocate. "Our goal is to
implement an action plan and make sure the motto becomes a reality. This
ambitious undertaking demands that we confront challenges such as racism,
homophobia, language barriers and providing full access to people with
disabilities."

Shaw noted, "Our success will depend in large part upon the active involvement
of the five advisory committees and the support of all individuals across
Toronto. Public awareness of diversity issues is of paramount importance, so we
will be communicating in various ways, including through the media."

The five advisory committees were established to address Aboriginal affairs;
race and ethnic relations; disability issues; the status of women; and lesbian,
gay, bisexual and transgender issues.

Monday's meeting was the first in a series of sessions planned by the Diversity
Advocate. Members of the five advisory committees identified several priorities
for work with the Diversity Advocate, including the need for public education
across the city as well as internal education and diversity training for all
employees of the City of Toronto.

City Council has also requested that the advisory committees monitor the
implementation of recommendations made by the Task Force on Community Access
and Equity. In addition, the advisory committees will provide input into the
formulation of a City of Toronto action plan for the elimination of racism and
other forms of intolerance, a Council initiative that will draw ideas and
inspiration from the United Nations' World Conference Against Racism, Racial
Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance this summer in Durban, South
Africa.

Councillor Shaw said, "The five community advisory committees are still
relatively new to the City, but it is already abundantly clear that their
members are highly motivated and capable. They will be valuable contributors to
the cause of supporting, promoting and celebrating diversity in Toronto."


Media Contact
Access Toronto
416-338-0338

 

 

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